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American Hustle - Film Review

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by Helen Belli (subscribe)
I am now living in Kariong on the Central Coast
Published January 27th 2014
[Please note this review contains spoilers]

'Everyone is trying to con everyone - we even con ourselves'. So says the master of con.

By the end of the movie you may very well agree with him.

The year is 1987. Christian Bale stars as Irving Rosenfeld, whose life is based on deception. When he meets the love if his life, he teams up with the master of con. Both have had difficult starts to their lives, but are determined to rise above the average. She joins him in a money lending scheme that never delivers. A federal agent has a cunning plan and needs a con man to help him. He, played by Bradley Cooper, begs for a loan from the team. The master of con, played by Amy Adams, takes a cheque and is now facing a jail term. Now the fun begins. They agree to outsmart politicians and the mob. The mayor of Camden New Jersey, played by Jeremy Renner, wants petrodollars to rebuild Atlantic City.

Who remembers the petrodollar crises in Australia in 1975? The minister for mineral resources, Rex Connor, tried to raise 4 billion dollars to sink into an energy project to build pipelines to carry natural gas and to electrify interstate railway lines (in retrospect it was amazing forward thinking!). The press got hold of the idea and convinced the public that borrowing petrodollars was a no no. Political crisis! Supply was blocked in the senate and the government fell for this and other reasons.

In 1987 the world was still awash with petrodollars, the mayor of Camden, New Jersey, wants money to rebuild Atlantic City. Our super cons go into action. The naive Mayor is convinced by the team to meet their 'Sheik', who is actually a Mexican who can't speak Arabic. A casino is to make the scheme pay, so the Mafia is also involved. The whole thing goes belly up, the politicians are caught taking bribes but our con team have clean hands. The naive Mayor makes a mistake, but guess what, no evidence of Mafia involvement.

Our beautiful lady con seems determined to show as much bosom without the films getting a 15 rating, as does the scatty wife of our 'hero'. The hairdos all round makes Donald Trump look conservative.

Lots of laughs and action, and on reflection, we might agree that 'the art of survival is a story that never ends'. The film has just been named the Best Comedy of 2013, which is a very good recommendation to go and see it.
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When: Now showing
Where: In cinemas
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